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Saudi Prisoners’ Children Put Into Solitary Confinement

Following the cancellation of Saudi prisoners’ Eid visits, their relatives organized small gatherings to protest the sudden decision. Gatherings are strictly prohibited in the absolute kingdom, but the ban has been continuously defied by the prisoners’ relatives, and most of the women and children who participated in the gatherings have been arrested since October 17. The children were even ordered to be in solitary confinement.

One of the arrested children, Humam al-Rushodi, whose father is a prisoner. via @e3teqal

One of the arrested children, Humam al-Rushodi, whose father is a prisoner. via @e3teqal

The one woman who was released because of her child's health condition tweeted about their arrest in front of the Governor's Office [ar]:

They told us: “Wait,” so we did. Then they brought buses and the special forces attacked us from one side and the female prison guards from the other like if we were about to murder their prince.

Umm Abdulla Al Harbi also reported that one of the prisoners’ relatives, Maha al-Duhayan, was beaten and had her hand broken:

…They shut my mouth so that I don't speak and they hit Maha al-Duhayan very hard and they even pushed her and she fell on her face…

This launched a very large condemnation within the Saudi Twittersphere against the Interior Ministry's aggression. The women, including al-Duhayan, were denied calls, visits and access to lawyers. Her son tweeted:

I have been under the sun during the past two days trying to get into the open doors, but I got no where. An official from the Bureau [of Investigation and Public Prosecution] promised me a call, but he didn't fulfill his promise.

On October 20, a group of women and young men organized a sit-in in front of the Buraydah Police Administration to demand the release of their relatives. They, too, were shortly surrounded by police forces and arrested.

Just in: Emergency forces surround those taking part in the sit-in in front of the Police Administration and beat the participants – women and young men.

Among those who were arrested were two of Mrs. al-Duhayan's sons, Yasser and Rayan.

I just got out from the General Investigation Bureau to inquire about my mother's case. I was shocked to receive a call from my brother, Rayan, saying that he was arrested with my brother Yasser.

The detained women and men are still prohibited from contacting the outside world. The under-age detained relatives were given a visit, but the prison officials told [ar] a family member yesterday, October 22, that they had orders from Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution to hold each child in solitary confinement for the next five days.

  • Solana Larsen

    Holding children confined like that is so unbelievably cruel.

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